Ascension is a VR installation created by Paul Boereboom and Leon Rogissart that extends the borders of opera and the way we look at reality. Ascension started from the concept of a floating tank: a saltwater pool in which you receive no stimulus, allowing your mind to unwind. You experience weightlessness, which is essential in order to reconnect with the self. This concept translated into a VR experience in which Boereboom and Rogissart set out to find a balance between the heart and the head. How do you achieve that balance? How do the two interact with each other?
With Ascension, the artists create a space to answer these questions, offering a canvas on which the visitor may reflect and associate for themselves. A place where we may briefly let go of the desires of our physical bodies and the outside world and do no more than exist.
The VR experience releases you from time and space through a delicate combination of images and opera music. Afterwards you will be gently taken out of the artificial world and brought back to reality.
Leon Rogissart is a Belgian theatre director. He graduated from the directing course at the Academie voor Theater en Dans in Amsterdam in 2021. For him, the theatre is the ultimate place to create a collective experience where intuition and resonance prevail. Besides theatre, music and VR are therefore important pillars in his work. The combination of the three allows him to unravel the abstraction in reality and deconstruct the concept of time. In 2021, Leon together with his colleague Paul Boereboom received the award for best VR production at the KABOOMFestival in Utrecht with the VR prototype Ascension.
Paul Boereboom is a Dutch scenographer living in Amsterdam. He studied scenography at the Amsterdam School of the Arts. After being on stage himself for a long time, Paul decided to question space (on stage) not with his body, but as a designer. His work includes theatre design, installations and costume design, as well as video design and work in virtual reality. In November 2021, Paul won the Harry Wich Stipendium from the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds to further develop his work.
Concept en muziek: Leon Rogissart
Concept en beeld: Paul Boereboom
Sopraan: Marie van Luijk
Countertenor: Arturo Den Hartog
Technische productie: Dries Himpe